Sunday, March 2, 2014

我感到羞恥不是因為我來自俄羅斯,而是因為他們來自俄羅斯。

為什麼在學俄文的過程當中,我愛上了俄國?因為當你學習一個語言時,你不可能不去認識那個語言背後的一切文化、傳統、地理、風情等。當你打開心腸,讓學習的語文成為你的一部份,這時,你才真正的在學習,不然只是在背片語和單字罷了(不是在叫你不要背片語和單字,好嗎?請努力背)。

當我被問,為什麼我以後會想在俄羅斯工作,或甚至為什麼喜歡俄羅斯時,我經常不知道要如何回復。可是為什麼需要回復這些問題呢?為什麼不能喜歡俄國?

『俄國人冷漠、無情』!——跟誰比較?我認為他們坦率。

『俄國人都貪污!』——喔?就連宿舍的清潔阿姨也是?太糟糕了。

『俄國人都愛喝酒,他們討厭全部的西方人!』——對!別忘了東方人、南方人和北方人!

『可是...普京!』——嗯,普京。

Владимир Владимирович Путин 「弗拉基米爾·弗拉基米羅維奇·普京」。他的名字難讀,心理更難讀。普京是活在民主世界中的獨裁者,沒有任何一個可以阻止他,而世界上可能再也不會出現像他,名字和狂妄的志向那麼一致的人物了(Владимир:掌握世界)。同時也能說,俄國可能再也不會經歷現今普京主義之下,被稱為「接力民主」的公然、無遮蓋專制制度,因為『普京不是永生的。』

昨晚看著Russia Today存偏見的轉播,俄國國會一步一步通過普京總統的「要求」,允許俄國出兵克里米亞,我的心跳也逐漸加快。我開始擔心,而令我擔心的不只是烏克蘭境內會有更多傷亡的可能(可能性很大)。當俄國國會以九十比十的比例通過表决後,我最擔心的是世界各國(尤其台灣)對俄國整體的批評。

我指的不是對普京的批評。我認為他受到的(大部份的)批評都是應得的。普京是個穿著西裝的暴君,而最大的誤解就是認為他在為俄羅斯和的人民效命。他只為自己效命——「接力民主」、更改憲法之下的總統任期、忽略國際法等,這些都是證據。

我在這裏專指的是因為國家少數人(普京)而出現的不當批評,尤其是針對一個國家的整體和它的人民。比如說,在冬季奧運Sochi 2014開幕前,西方媒體對俄國的批評;批評貪污的官員、批評比賽場地、批評安全設施、批評反同性戀政策等。這些都是值得批評的,但一進入選手村就等著俄國出錯的記者和選手們的行為是錯的,他們完全放錯了焦點,也早已失去奧運的精神。CNN在開幕式前一週的報導中說到:『如果在索契沒有任何悲劇發生,那會是最令人驚奇的。』你們想想,當在國內外,正為國家感到驕傲的俄國人看到這樣的報導時,他們會有什麼樣的感受?

德國人稱這種行為為Schadenfreude,也就是「幸災樂禍」。「適當的批評」和「幸災樂禍」兩者處在一條細細又透明的線的左右。你們分的出來嗎?我有時候也分不出來。

另一個例子就是台灣與南韓之間,因為跆拳道的糾紛。相信我,我熱愛足球,我了解什麼叫做「對運動的熱情」,我也懂得一項運動背後「公平競爭」的原則。但因為在一場比賽中所發生的事件,而從此痛恨一個國家,甚至決定不購買從此國進口的商品...朋友們,我替你們感到羞愧。

為什麼我在這裏尤其擔心從台灣來的批評呢?很簡單:我是台灣人。我希望台灣在國際間持續維持著良好的形象,也帶給自己的人民和外國人正面的印象。台灣雖然沒有很強烈的國際認可,但我們的生活也相對地簡單了許多(例如台灣與申根國的約定),而且很多外國人對台灣持有極好的印象。打最後那句也讓我替台灣驕傲了一下。

回到俄國,你們必須知道,非常多俄國人民也對普京不滿(雖然他的支持者也不少)。同樣這些人民可能在十多年前曾認為他代表了「新俄羅斯」,帶著人民走出了將近七十年的共產制度。如今他們的態度有了巨大的變化。今天在莫斯科的大街上遊行的就是這些俄國人。他們舉著牌子,大聲吼出普京的決定所帶給他們的恥辱。今天的俄國人需要的不是我們的批評,而是我們的同情、我們的鼓勵。

俄國不完美,但是我至今還沒有去過一個「完美」的國家。他們有他們的缺點,我們有我們的。「批評」是民主國家人民的權利,但因為他國政府(或一人)的不當,因此而對他國人民有偏見,公開(或不公開)的指責他們,這是不恰當的行為。

普京與俄國國會三月一日晚上所做的決定是我在任何狀況下絕對不會支持的。現今俄羅斯人民與母國之間的愛恨關係是外人不可能了解的,而有些決定是連最愛國的人都無法辯護的。

普京不代表俄羅斯;俄羅斯不代表普京:不可以把普京和俄羅斯畫上等號。JSF.

__________________________________

Post-edit: Translation added for English-speakers.

I don’t feel ashamed that I’m from Russia, I feel ashamed that they are from Russia.

Why in the process of learning Russian did I fall in love with Russia? Because when learning a language, you can’t avoid learning everything behind the language: culture, traditions, geography and customs, etc. When you open your heart and let the language and literature you’re learning become a part of you, only then are you truly learning. Otherwise you’re just studying idioms and vocabulary (I’m not telling you not to study idioms and vocabulary, OK? Please study hard).

Whenever I’m asked why I want to work in Russia in the future or why I even like Russia, I’m often not sure how to respond. But why should I have to respond to these questions? Why aren’t I allowed to like Russia?

“Russians are cold and heartless!” – compared to whom? I would say they’re candid and honest.

“Russians are all corrupt!” – Yeah? Even the cleaning lady in the dorms? That’s terrible.

“Russians all love to drink, and they hate all the westerners!” – Yes! And don’t forget the easterners, southerners and northerners!

“But…Putin!” – Mmm, Putin.

Владимир Владимирович Путин (Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin). His name is hard to read, and his psyche even harder. Putin is an autocrat living in a democratic world. No one man can stop him, and perhaps the world will never see the likes of him again, someone whose name and ludicrous ambitions stand as one (Владимир: possess the world). At the same time, it could be said that Russia may not witness the ‘Tandemocracy’ under Putinism we see today ever again; the blatant, in-your-face autocracy, because “Putin won’t live forever.”

While watching the biased broadcast on Russia Today last night, I bore witness to the Russian Federation Council gradually approving President Putin’s ‘request’ to mobilise troops into Crimea. My heart started to beat faster. I became nervous and worried. What worried me the most was not just the prospect of more lives lost in Ukraine (the probability of which is very high). When the State Council passed the vote by a ratio of 90:10, I worried most about the forthcoming global (especially from Taiwan) criticism heading Russia’s way.

I’m not talking about the criticism towards Putin. I believe he deserves the criticism (most of it at least) he receives. Putin is a tyrant in a suit, and the biggest mistake is thinking that he acts on behalf of Russia and her peoples. He acts on behalf of himself – ‘Tandemocracy’, changing the constitution, altering the legal presidential term and ignoring international law, etc. are all proof of that.

Here I’m talking specifically about criticism brought about by a select few (Putin) within a country, and especially when directed towards the nation and its peoples as a whole. For instance, before the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics began, Western media criticism towards Russia; criticising corrupt officials, criticising Olympic venues, criticising security measures and criticising anti-LGBT laws, etc. These are all valid points which deserve criticism, but when reporters and athletes entered Olympic Village searching for, expecting, mishaps and mistakes from Russia, that wasn’t right. They completely misplaced their focus and had lost the spirit of the Games. CNN’s interview report a week prior to the opening ceremony said: “If it goes off without a tragedy, that’ll be amazing.” Take a second to think about how Russians, home and abroad, must have felt seeing this report as they proudly anticipated the Games.

Germans call this Schadenfreude – pleasure derived from another person’s misfortune. There’s a very fine line between ‘fair criticism’ and ‘Schadenfreude’. Can you tell the difference? Because sometimes not even I can.

Another example is the friction between Taiwan and South Korea because of tae kwon do. Trust me, I love football, so I understand what it means to have ‘passion for the game’. I also understand the ‘fair play’ principle behind the sport. But deciding to hate a country and even not buy anything imported from said country just because of the events of a sports match…my friends, I feel ashamed for you.

Why do I worry particularly about criticism from Taiwan? Simple: I’m Taiwanese. My hope is for Taiwan to maintain a decent international image and continue to provide its peoples and foreigners with a positive impression. Taiwan might not have strong international recognition, but our lives are perhaps made easier because of that (Taiwan’s agreement with Schengen nations, for instance), and what’s more is that many foreigners actually have a fantastic impression of Taiwan. Typing the last sentence made me feel a little proud.

Back to Russia. You all need to know that many people in Russia are also not content with Putin (though his supporters are various). These same people might have supported him ten plus years ago in a ‘new Russia’, he having lead them out of almost 70 years of Communism. Today their attitudes have changed. These people are today rallying on the streets of Moscow, signs raised, voicing the shame that Putin’s decision has brought upon them. What these people need is not our criticism (they know wrongdoings have been committed), but our sympathy and support.

Russia isn’t perfect, but I haven’t been to a ‘perfect’ country to this day. They have their flaws and so do we. To criticise is the right of every citizen in a democracy, but discriminating, forming biases and publicly (or privately) condemning a nation’s people because of the wrongdoings of their government (or individual) is wrong and should not be tolerated.

The decision made on the eve of March 1 by Putin and the Federation Council is one that I will never, under any circumstances, support. Furthermore, the love-hate relationship which grips Russia and her peoples is one that no outsider can understand, and there are some decisions which even the most patriotic of people cannot defend.

Putin is not Russia; Russia is not Putin: we cannot and should not see them as equals. JSF.

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